Why should you have to choose between the Halloween you grew up with and the local Catalan traditions of the Castanyada (chestnut feast) on All Saints' Day, when you can do it all? In this selection of things to do during the Halloween and All Saints celebrations, you're sure to find several activities to pique your interest, whether you like getting scared out of your wits, clubbing all night, or settling in for a horror film marathon. And save up your energy: the fun starts before October 31 and carries on after November 1!
The Tibidabo funfair doesn't want to miss out on the scariest night of the year and so has prepared a special programme for the whole family that's on until November 5. At night the most terrifying characters aren't locked up in the Krueger Hotel but instead are walking the streets of the theme park in a parade inspired by 'The Curse of the Black Pearl' from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The opening hours at the funfair are longer than usual but only for the most courageous (it's recommended for ages nine and up). During these long nights you can enjoy a special choreography starring zombies out of the most famous films. What's more, from October 28 the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock turns up in the Krueger Hotel with a scene from 'Psycho', and the programme also grows with a show from 'La familia Monstre', inspired by the TV show 'The Munsters'.
Grab a costume and celebrate Halloween with two rock bands, a costume contest, a DJ, and many more suprises. Your ticket in gets you a free shot and tapas, as well as special prices at the bar until midnight, and of course the performances. Conrad Freeman, originally from upstart New York, which he calls 'the worst part of the USA', plays acoustic punk rock, roots, folk and blues. The Lucies are an indie rock band with touches of brisk guitar à la The Smiths, Joy Division–esque gothic splendour, and Franz Ferdinand–type slick dance floor rhythms. You'll hardly notice their lyrics full of dark wit and melancholy as wave after wave of glittering indie hooks keep you sweating on the dance floor. After the live performances you're treated to a surprise international guest DJ to keep you going into the wee hours. (Note: Avoid paying an additional charge by getting there before 12.30am.)
Up in the Loft at Razzmatazz you can join in the Goa-Halloween party, because every night can be a scary night if you play your cards right. Featuring Astral Projection from Israel, along with Hypnoxock, César Mimesis of Suntrip Records, and Petaphysical Psytrance.
Organist Juan de la Rubia continues the tradition of offering a concert for All Saints' Day at the Palau de la Música Catalana. The concert is improvised, based on the screening of the 1927 silent film 'Metropolis'.
Costume and party shops
Can't track down that costume? You'll find it here. Hilda's gloves, period costume from the Inquisition, Father Christmas' pyjamas or a bullfighters outfit. This shop is well-loved by those in the know and has a stock of over 15,000 outfits stored away in its innards.
Since 2001, Atucom has dedicated itself to selling and renting costumes and accessories for theatre, cinema and TV, but it's also a place of great pilgrimage for big dates on the calendar that require fancy dress – Carnaval and Halloween. If you're looking for a made-to-order costume, ask for a measurement and an estimate.
The Catalan tradition of building representative figures out of cardboard (giants, big-heads, puppets, and beastly creatures that take part in festivals) is the essence of this mask-making business, which covers masks from Greek tragedies to Comedia dell'Arte, French tradition to Catalan theatre, and even the Japanese 'Noh'. Their assests include some 300 models of masks that can be mass-produced without losing their artisanal character. Tourists, collectors, and those involved in the stage arts and festivals are the clientele of this shop on C/Princesa where, in addition to the masks you can also find many other cardboard and papier mâché objects.
In 1919 the doors opened at Comercial Bolsera, Barcelona's go-to shop for party decorations, gifts, costumes and more, located in the Raval. In 2000 the name changed but the spirit stayed the same: party packs live alongside wrapping paper and bows, as do decorations and materials for crafts. It's hard to leave here empty-handed.
This veteran costume shop sells party favours, Christmas decorations and fireworks. At E Carnaval, kids and adults alike will find costume and accessories perfect for any fancy dress parties or events they're going to, whether it's Carnaval, Halloween or a themed birthday party.
A place where you can find what you need to change a bathroom tap, buy a lamp for the living room, pick up a new shower curtain or a set of knives, and lose yourself among metres and metres of ready-made costumes and material to make your own. Servei Estació isn't just a dream space for those handy around the house, but also a shop where every member of the family can find what they need for whatever activity or hobby they're into.
At once enchanting and disturbing, El Ingenio's handcrafted toys, tricks and costumes are reminders of a pre-digital world where people made their own entertainment. Its cabinets are full of practical jokes and curious toys; its fascinating workshop produces the oversized heads and garish costumes used in Barcelona's traditional festivities.
This shop specialises in humour, perhaps even on a worldwide scale, because they approach the discipline from all sides (and take it seriously, we might add). They have books that use humorous tools, from Miguel Noguera to Kakfa, there are Spanish magazines from the '70s such as 'Hermano Lobo', and they have a good selection of joke items and even design objects, with a preference for David Shrigley merchandising and Seletti editions. La Llama also functions as a gallery and hosts stand-up comedy workshops.